Staying Cool

Staying Cool | the beauty in simpleThe temperature gauge registered 103 degrees when we rolled into town Sunday afternoon. It didn’t feel very welcoming. According to the weather forecast, it was going to be in the high 90s and into the 100s all week. They may have been off by some degrees, but I’m taking measures to stay cool.

Letting the Cool Air In | the beauty in simpleI regulate my home temperature not with air conditioning, an attic fan, a swamp cooler, or even portable fans, but by strategically opening and closing windows and blinds. Mid-morning when the sun starts heating things up I shut doors, windows, and blinds. I swing them open again in the evening just as the sun sets and the temperatures start dropping. In Colorado the nights are remarkably cool, which makes this technique work.

Outdoor Kitchen | the beauty in simple

Corn Cakes and Jalapeno Lime Pinto Beans | the beauty in simpleA switch of the stove or oven and my efforts to keep the house cool are foiled. To prevent “cooking” the house, I set up an outdoor kitchen on my back patio. I’ve been using a camp stove and a slow cooker. I’ve made a zucchini-onion scramble and jalapeno-lime pinto beans (made in the slow cooker) and fried corn cakes, among other things.Asian Veggie Bowl | the beauty in simpleThere have been cold foods served up as well, like the Asian veggie bowl with raw cabbage, carrots, zucchini, red pepper, green onions, and cilantro on top of rice noodles and dressed with a peanut sauce.

Creating Shade with a Cloths Line and Table Cloth | the beauty in simpleOddly enough, we don’t dinner eat outside very often in the summer, unless it’s cloudy or later in the evening. My back patio faces west and gets that late afternoon sun that scorches. Not always pleasant for the person facing west. I’m not sure why it’s never occurred to me before, but I strung a clothes line between two wrought iron poles, clipped a tablecloth to it, and suddenly our picnic table was shaded from that harsh sun and meals are enjoyed alfresco.Cooling Off in a Bucket of Water | the beauty in simpleI moved afternoon walks to the evening. My dog is happy about that. There’s also that cold bucket of water to jump into. How are the temps in your neck of the woods? Are you staying cool?

6 thoughts on “Staying Cool

  1. It’s been hot here as well, although not as hot as by you. We too use the strategic opening and closing of windows to regulate heat, although it doesn’t cool down fast enough here at night for that to work more than four or five days before my upstairs is stifling hot. Last summer we made it through without using an ac at all, if we have a month long heat wave as predicted, we may have to break down at some point this summer.

    We’ve moved errands to early morning to get out before it gets too hot, and I kick the kids out late afternoon when it starts to cool down and my little back yard is shaded by the house.

    Today it was slightly cooler and started to rain just as we went out to pick berries after lunch. Picking berries in the rain after several sticky hot days was a gift.

    1. Going without ac does require some strategic planning! It sounds like you have it nailed down. That’s great you went a whole summer without turning on the ac! I hope you have a repeat this summer.

  2. I live on the Texas Gulf Coast and it is not an option to be without AC. No cool nights here. Our humidity in this area is unbelievable. I envy your cooler weather during the year, as we barely get a reprieve most of the rine with mild winters. We only have 2 seasons…lol

    1. I’m afraid I’d have the ac cranked if I lived in your neck of the woods! I bet your strategies for staying cool look a little different than mine. 🙂

    1. Our camp stove fuel ran out, and while I could buy more little tanks I hate the waste, so I’m relying more on the gas grill (whose tank can be refilled) and still the slow cooker. The meals have been yummy!

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